NRB Asks FCC To Appeal Indecency Decision To Supremes - Broadcasting & Cable

NRB Asks FCC To Appeal Indecency Decision To Supremes

Copps says it must also tweak current policy to "clarify and strengthen" it
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The
National Religious Broadcasters has called on the FCC to appeal the Second
Circuit's smackdown of FCC indecency enforcement regime to the Supreme Court.

A
three-judge panel of The Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday (July
13) that the FCC's indecency finding against swearing on Fox award shows was
unconstitutional
, as was the policy behind it.

"While
understanding the difficult challenge faced by broadcasters who could be
charged with ‘fleeting' indecency violations over which they had little or no
control," said NRB President Dr. Frank Wright, "the court has
unfortunately created an indecency loophole through which you can drive a
truck."

The FCC
has a number of options. It can appeal the three-judge decision to the
full-court of appeals, it can wait to see what the Third Circuit rules in its
remand of the Janet Jackson indecency fine against CBS-owned stations, it can
appeal directly to the Supreme Court or it could try to craft a constitutional
indecency policy. The court did not rule that such a policy could not be
crafted, only that the FCC had not done so with its justification of fleeting
profanity enforcement.

FCC
Commissioner Michael Copps suggested the FCC should take that last route in a
statement after the decision. Copps said he, too, hoped the FCC would appeal,
and thought the court had made the wrong call about the constitutionality of
the policy. But in the meantime, he wanted the FCC to clarify its authority.
"In light of the uncertainty created by today's decision, I call on this
Commission to move forward immediately to clarify and strengthen its indecency
framework to ensure that American parents can protect their children from the
indecent and violent images that bombard us more and more each day," he
said.

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